“with as much transparency as is possible to achieve without compromising our operations”

The BBC reports that the SDLP’s Alex Attwood is complaining that proposed security protocols mean that MI5 will remain accountable only to senior UK Ministers, Parliament and the judiciary, however limited that may be, and not to a local Northern Ireland Justice Minister – just as it is in the rest of the UK. From the BBC report

The DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr said the SDLP needed to accept the fact that issues concerning national security would not be devolved. “The local justice minister will have responsibility to deal with local justice issues in terms of courts, prison service and the general holding to account of the police service,” he said. “No local justice minister is having their fingers near the national security of the UK.”

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  • FitzjamesHorse

    If Alex Attwood wants to know anything about MI5, he should enrol in a MA course on the subject at Queens University.
    Presumably MI5 vets the applicants.
    Or would QUB allow that?
    Probably.

  • LabourNIman

    Not often I’ll agree, IPJ is right. The SDLP have to seriously take a look at where they are going.. are they really willing to look like fools and push this issue?

  • Err … who pays the considerable bill for that oxyomoron of “military intelligence”?

  • The SDLP are presumably highlighting this issue in order to suggest that SF didnt get a good deal for Nationalists at Hillsborough. This is a subject that will be no doubt be visited after the transfer of police and justice powers is complete.

    And the timinig of the announcement is interesting.

  • Fabianus

    “No local justice minister is having their fingers near the national security of the UK.”

    That’s a relief. I wouldn’t trust any of them with it, least of all IPJ’s party. P&J is much too important to be devolved to any of our present MPs, MLAs or Ministers.

  • Dixie Elliott

    From the Policing Board website…

    Transfer of National Security to MI5

    On 24 February 2005 the then Secretary of State, Paul Murphy announced that, during 2007, the Security Service (often known as MI5) would assume lead responsibility for national security intelligence work, thus aligning the arrangements in Northern Ireland with those that apply in the rest of the United Kingdom. It was stated at the time that this transfer for responsibility will in no way diminish the role of the PSNI in intelligence gathering in areas other than national security, nor on its ability to mount executive policing operations, make arrests or take forward prosecutions. Since the announcement, the Policing Board has received regular briefings from PSNI and the Security Services.

    http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/index/faqs/mi5.htm

    I wonder what the members of the Policing Board discuss at these regular briefings with MI5?

  • Alex is right to highlight these issues. Mi5 are currently trying to coerce young men in the South Derry area to work for them (and may be implicated in Kieran Doherty’s death) yet cannot be held accountable for their actions.

  • Bob Wilson

    Justin – they can be held accountable for their actions via the UK Parliament. Kieran Doherty was proud to be a member of the Real IRA who are a threat to national security why wouldnt MI5 try to recruit people to counter that threat?

    As for the SDLP they got 0.5% of the vote at the last election in the UK.

  • aquifer

    Are you saying that MI5 shot Kieran?

    How accountable are the people that did? Hint: They don’t enjoy standing for election, and seem to prefer being somehow accountable to dead people.

    Who did Alex think will be looking after the national security of the UK, the CIA?

    Informers, the unsung heroes of the peace process.

    Thanks guys.

  • One of the main reasons why many Nationalists and Republicans cannot endorse the RUC/PSNI is because they are well aware that MI5 are pulling the strings.

    A totally unaccountable body of spooks and spies who care little about Ireland nor its people! The objective of MI5 is to continue imperialism across Ireland and beyond and as such any opposition to their operations are welcome.

  • old school

    A local cop broke the arm of a Derry Republican, cuffed his broken arm, and charged him with assault. Part of a litany of constant harassment due to his political leanings.
    He was brought in front of a local Judge today and jailed for 7 months.
    I´m sure he´s happy in his cell in the knowledge that the injustice he faced was “locally devolved”.
    Devolution of “policing and justice” within the parameters of partition will not change anything vis a vis traditional Republicans.
    The 50s Border campaign showed this.

  • old school

    BTW, the RIRA have not alleged Kieran to be an informer.
    They accused him of corruption, profiteering and bringing Republicanism into disrepute.
    PSF were also accusing him of the same thing, in a whispering campaign leading up to his death.

  • Harry J

    P&J is much too important to be devolved to any of our present MPs, MLAs or Ministers. ..

    you mean to the elected representatives? why shouldnt the people of NI be in control of this dept.

    Its wrong for it to be in the hands of unaccountable faceless bureaucrats

  • Pete Baker

    “why shouldnt the people of NI be in control of this dept.”

    Because it’s not a NI department?

    And they’re not in “control” of it in the same way they’re not in “control” of policing.

  • dwatch

    Alex wants to check out first who is in charge of MI5 before he starts showing his ignorance. Headquarters is at Thames House, London, and the MI5 building inside Hollywood Army barracks is one of eight sub section offices positioned throughout the UK.

    [i]The Security Service commonly known as MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5),[1] is the United Kingdom’s counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of the intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). All come under the direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The service has a statutory basis in the Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994.[/i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MI5

  • Alias

    The Shinners only assist in the administration of those areas of British rule that are devolved, and not in those areas that are (currently) reserved matters or excepted matters, e.g. immigration policy, EU policy, broadcasting policy, defence and foreign affairs, economic and monetary policy, taxation policy, etc, etc, and lots of other policy areas. In those affairs of British state, they have no input whatsoever – and simply implement British national policy as it is devised elsewhere in the UK.

    Sadly for them, that doesn’t fit the spiel that it is an Irish administration with the policy devised by Irish people to promote the national interests of Irish people.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “The objective of MI5 is to continue imperialism across Ireland and beyond and as such any opposition to their operations are welcome.”

    Shouldn’t you be at a UN conference on colonialism, neo-colonialism, and decolonization? I am otherwise fairly certain that Her Majesty’s govt is aware that Britannia no longer rules the waves.

    And, damn, but is Mr. Attwood dumb. Alex, you have a police force. They are presumably going to investigate complaints alleging criminal behavior. So if MI5 offs someone…

    And, Alex, your police force can also do a more general intelligence work, call it preemptive action so that the drug cartel doesn’t need to be brought down as you’ve prevented it from ever starting up. By the way, they’ll probably let you know, as the last thing they want is one or more of your PSNI officers barging into and ruining one of their operations (unless, of course, they’re not sure you can be trusted, so earn and keep the faith).

  • aquifer

    ‘The objective of MI5 is to continue imperialism across Ireland and beyond’

    And what are RIRAs objectives for its shadowy terrorist campaign of Gaelic and Catholic Cultural Imperialism?

    RIRA’s campaign of armed blackmail targets Britain and the Republic, and they are entitled to defend themselves and the human rights of their citizens by all lawful means.

  • David Crookes

    Mr Atwood’s statement suggests that the SDLP is approaching the election in a state of complete desperation. He should be offering his voters a sell-crafted set of policies, not throwing his jelly-tots at windmills. What important area of public concern will Mr Atwood address next? Our coinage?

    Zero out of ten, Neighbour Verges.

  • [quote][i]The BBC reports that the SDLP’s Alex Attwood is complaining that proposed security protocols mean that MI5 will remain accountable only to senior UK Ministers, Parliament and the judiciary, however limited that may be, and not to a local Northern Ireland Justice Minister – just as it is in the rest of the UK.[/i][/quote]

    It is naive to imagine that MI5 answers to and is responsible to anybody other than themselves no matter how accountable other wannabe minor controllers would wish them to be. And to imagine that they would report anything worthwhile to corrupt and disgraced governments desperate to hang onto power at any cost, is to live in a fantasy world, especially whenever now hot intelligence is so very lucrative and painlessly obscenely rewarding in the Markets which Control Money Supply and Distribution.

    Target those Levers with SMART Exploding Munitions and Sensitive Top Secret Monetary and Fiscal Reform and Release Information/New Ideas in Globally Shared Open Source Intelligence Channels/Chunnels/Networks/Websites for Change and New Wealth Generated rather than the Old Perverted Establishment Systems Remaining Systemically Corrupted allowing Easily Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catastrophically Collapse them into Ponzi Ruin with a Simple Run/Customer Check on Available Resources, with many resources being …… AWOL and MIA and just Fabulous Fabrications.

    A little something which the PMS with the greater benefit of their hands in the practically empty overflowing till experience, can readily advise punters on.

  • johncrow

    In the real world,are the Fools on the Hill responsible for anything?

  • joeCanuck

    What real advantage would be gained by MI5 telling lies to locals rather than those “responsible” at Westminster? MI5 are, and always have been, a law unto themselves, even trying for a coup against the elected Government once upon a time.

  • aquifer

    “a litany of constant harassment due to … political leanings”

    Pretty much sums up the CIRA RIRA campaign, though cold blooded murder has to count as more than harassment.

    Yes. Their preferred method of promoting their politics is murder.

    Welcome to the green killing fields.

    Little seeds of victimhood carefully tended to become row after row of someone elses body bits.

  • wee buns

    Arg,,, not MORE body bits….

    ‘In the real world,are the Fools on the Hill responsible for anything?’

    In a word: NO. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Slacht. Rien.

  • Rory Carr

    If, as Old School advises, “bringing Republicanism into disrepute” warrants execution then I suggest a compassionate programme of assisted suicide for the whole bunch of the RIRA might be called for.

    The purpose of Republicanism is to serve the people of Ireland in developing their welfare which these misguided egotists have somehow translated as “warfare” – the only bloody thing they know and even at that they have proven to be woefully incompetent to the extent that were it not so bloody tragic it could almost seem clownish.